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Wagon casters

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by bobgaggle, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    I just saw the most recent tour of My Fair Lady at the Kennedy Center in DC. I got to go on a backstage tour of the show and noticed the wagons they use to move scenes on and off. Naturally they used a tracked deck with a cable system to move the wagons, but I couldn't figure out what kind of wheels they were using. Of course we weren't supposed to touch anything, but as the group moved forward I couldn't resist. I lagged behind and gave the thing a shove. Needless to say it sailed like a ghost 7 or 8 feet across the stage before the cable jerked it to a stop (and I probably fouled it up in the motor too :(

    But I have no idea how they got that thing to be so silent and so low to the ground (it was 2" max off the deck) Anyone know how to do this?

    Air cushion?
    Uber soft rubber wheels?
    Mag Lev?
    The Force?
     
  2. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Hmmm Good question. Don't think it would have been air casters, as they require a constant supply of air when lifting, and you certainly don't leave big wagons lifted when tours are comming through. Were the wagons tracked with a rail on the stage? In that case I say it was probably dual or right angle roller ball casters. Or maybe, since it's a big show they have the money to buy really good ball bearing casters, unlike us schmucks in the Non-Profit world who get by on rollerskate wheels and 1/4" bolts.
    :mrgreen:
     
  3. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    Just come in during preshow and ask the tech that is rewraping the winch system what kind of casters are on it.

    Was the clearance two inches or the total height? If it was total hight and the units were light weight they could have used shop built nylon rollers or just stuck UHMWPE on the bottom of the unit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra_high_molecular_weight_polyethylene
     
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    It's been 25 years since I've spec'd casters, are Darnells still the Rolls Royce of the industry?
     
  5. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    Total height (not clearance) of the wagon was 2". I've been googling like mad and I can't find anything. The wagons just had two knives in the track (on in front and one in back) to which the cable was attached.

    Doing a bit o' research on UHMWPE...is it really low friction?
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2008
  6. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they are. Dunno if the name has changed since you spec'd though, the full name is now Darnell-Rose but I just call the casters Darnells.

    Ooohh...2" total thickness...now I really want to know what the deal is here!
     
  7. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    Yup to most surfaces in low weight applications it will glide quite nicely.
     
  8. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    so what defines low weight? would it glide with a desk on the wagon? a few people? only a folding chair?
     
  9. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    If you don't have a copy of Technical Design Solutions for Theatre buy volume one and look pages 210-214 because there is a very well written write up of several different plastics that can be used as guides.

    Using the Formula F=UN where F is the amount of force to start movement, U is the coefficient of static friction and N is the weight of the object being tested

    UHMWPE has a U value of .17

    you can do the rest of the math to figure out how much weight you can apply and still only need to give it a good shove.
     
    bobgaggle likes this.
  10. themuzicman

    themuzicman Well-Known Member

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    would that be the book you mentioned?

    http://books.google.com/books?id=5zuA1SSDvIsC&dq=technical+design+solutioins+for+theater&pg=PP1&ots=guWlp87rBD&sig=OXZM-j6tM07nZqneJQgkhagx_rc&hl=en&prev=http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=technical+design+solutioins+for+theater&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=print&ct=title&cad=one-book-with-thumbnail
     
  11. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    Yup, one and the same
     
  12. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I just got it for Christmas. It's Excellent so far.
     
  13. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    The big issue with UHMW or UHMD PE< Ultra High Molecular Weight or Ultra High Molecular Density, Poly-Ethyline> is Expense! The stuff should be should as a High value commodity on the stock market, or maybe used as a currency base like gold. It is very cool stuff, and fun to work with as you can route, cut, Lathe, and machine it just like Wood and Metal combined.
     
  14. superdoo

    superdoo Member

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    It's funny you mentioned that book!I just ordered both volumes and rigging book, they should be here in a week:)
     
  15. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    Mind PMing me with some more detailed opinions? From a glance it seems a tad dated.
     
  16. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    A 5 year old book is "dated" now?
    Horse hockey.:neutral:
     
  17. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    How do you keep the skates on? Do they hold the stick in their mouths?
     
  18. punktech

    punktech Active Member

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    nah i've seen it in canada...it's like polo but with blades attatched to the hooves
     
  19. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    you all have an uncanny knack for getting off topic...isnt' there a area for that somewhere on this site?!!?!?!?! ;)
     
  20. thelightingmancan

    thelightingmancan Member

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    Sorry Aaron, but I had to say this, I saw a license plate today that sayed
    "horse hcky"
     

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